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Hummingbird Save The Date Card - A 12-Step Illustrator Tutorial

This time, I thought we’d expand on our growing Illustrator skills a bit, and first create a Save the Date card, and then  printable wedding invitations using the same theme and color scheme. Remember, you can use the basic steps and designs in any of my Save the Date tutorials as a wedding invitation layout as well (or menus, or thank you cards, or anything really). In order to keep the length of the post manageable, this one is the Save the Date cards, and the next one will be the invitation.

Hummingbird Save the Date cardMy inspiration for the Hummingbird card (which I think would be great for coastal or beach weddings) came from a really cute vector file called Cyber Plant, made by vectorjungle. You can download the file (an eps document) here. Read the License.

To create the Hummingbird Save the Date card:

1. Unzip the file you downloaded. Open cyber_plant_life_2.eps in Illustrator. Eps stands for Encapsulated PostScript and they are usually vector files that you can work with in Illustrator.

2. With your selection tool, select the plant/flower and the hummingbird in the left hand corner (you’ll grab more than you need, but that’s fine). To select both, first click on one, then hold down the Shift key and click on the other.

3. Create a new, 5×5″ Illustrator document.

4. Paste the flower and bird in your new document. The illustration will be much larger than your document, but don’t worry about that yet.

5. With your Direct Selection Tool, select and delete the parts you don’t want. The reason we’re using the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) instead of the Selection Tool (black arrow) is that Base parts of illustrationit allows you to select only parts of a design, even if it’s grouped. It can be a bit time consuming, but worth every minute. If you have a larger area of stuff you don’t need, you can always click and drag around it (while using your Direct Selection Tool) and delete a few parts with one keystroke. When you have deleted all the parts (if you do exactly what I did), this is what you end up with.

6. Click on any part of the illustration with your Selection Tool and then ungroup (by either going to Object – Ungroup or right click on your mouse and hit ungroup). Now click on either part of the two large stems and ungroup them as well.

7. Now, with the Selection Tool (black arrow) select the bottom part of the flower stem, the one that’s floating on it’s own on the bottom and drag it up to match up with the top one. Zoom in really close (either by using the Zoom Toolzoomtool, just select it and drag around the area you want to zoom in on, or by hitting Apple and + or Cntrl and + on PC. Use – in the same way to zoom out) and just match the two parts up (it doesn’t have to be perfect, one can overlap the other a bit, that’s fine). Then immediately select both and group them (by going to Object – Group, or right clicking on your mouse and select group, or hit Apple+G or Cntrl+G for PC).

8. The next step is to move the bird and flowers on the side over to the “main flower”. So select all of that by just dragging around it with your Direct Selection Tool and then immediately switch to the Selection Tool and just drag them over. Zoom in where the smaller stem meets the stemselectedcloserlarger one. As you can see, they don’t really match up so we need to fix that. With your Direct Selection tool, select the little stem, and click on it until you Stems after adjustmentget two white squares on the bottom of the stem. Now, with your Direct Selection Tool, grab the little white square to the right and just drag it down until it meets up with the larger stem. This will change the shape of the little stem, but that’s exactly what we want.

9.Eye before I didn’t like the look of the bird’s eye – it looked a bit dinosaur-ish to me – so I changed it a bitEye after by selecting it with the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) and just pulling up on that little “handle” on the bottom. I also got rid of the little black “blob” in the corner of his eye by adjusting the handles there as well. The result:

8. Now comes the fun part – the coloring! Select and color the different parts of your resulting design as you wish. I made all the flowers the same color, but obviously, you don’t have to. If you want to do it the way I did, select all the different flowers, either by holding down the shift key and clicking on them with your Selection Tool, or by just selecting one and go to Select – Same – Fill Color (this only works if what you want to select has the same fill or stroke color, but it’s a good trick to know). If you want to make them all the same color, it’s a good idea to group them here. With the flowers selected, either click on a patch or fill in your color values in the color palette. I used R 239, G 183, B 192 for the flowers.

Note: if you want to save the color you just created, just click on the fill box in the color window and drag it down to the swatch window

To change the color of the stems and bird, select them and proceed as above. I used R 155, G 157, B 160 for mine.

10. Now select the entire design and resize it so it fits on your card (however large or small you want it to be).

11. Add a new layer and drag it so it’s on the bottom. Lock the layer with the illustration. Select the Rectangle tool, click anywhere in the window and create a 5×5″ box. Drag it so that it fits right in your document. Make sure there is no stroke weight or color, and fill your box with the color you want. Mine is R 255, G 252, B 213 with 42% opacity.

12. Add a new layer and lock the others. In the new layer, add your text, using any font you want. I used Century Gothic at 12pt, all lower caps for the general text, and Century Gothic, 18pt, all caps for the bride & groom. If you need font inspiration and help, check out my “More Font Ideas For Your Wedding Stationery” and “How To Add Fonts To Your Computer” posts.

Done!

As you can see, this is really easy to make, and you can personalize it in so many ways by changing the colors, keeping more or less of the original design, changing the font and wording, add more illustrations… Or make a totally different card all together!

Also, don’t miss the next post where we turn this card into a wedding invitation.

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